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Karnataka state introduced the law as an ordinance after it failed to sail through the upper house of the state assembly Christians feel betrayed as Indian state criminalizes conversion Christians in India's Karnataka state feel betrayed and hurt after their government criminalized religious conversions ignoring concerns, says Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore, who heads the regional bishops' forum. “The Christian community feels betrayed when its sentiments are not taken note of and its selfless services in the fields of education, healthcare and other social areas for the welfare of all communities are not taken into consideration,” said May 18. The prelates' statement came a day after the state government, run by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), promulgated the ordinance on May 17 with the signature of the state governor. The Karnataka Right to Freedom of Religion Bill 2021 was passed by the state legislative assembly in last December but the ruling BJP failed to muster enough support in the legislative council or upper house, whose final sanction is required for any law to come into force. The BJP-led government then decided on taking the ordinance route to implement the anti-conversion law. Archbishop Machado, who heads the state's bishops' council said, called the move “a big letdown”

As many as six people have been arrested on Monday for allegedly trying to convert people into followers of Christianity at the Christ Memorial School in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, an official said. Following this matter, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said that the police have been directed to monitor the conversion activities in schools. Bhopal’s Bairagarh police station in-charge DP Singh said that following a complaint, a police team on Sunday raided the Christ Memorial School premises where a group had gathered and people were about to be converted. Father Paul Polas, Kamini Paul, Rajesh Malviya and Ritika Malviya were arrested on spot while the school director Menis Mathew and Rahul Sharma were arrested on Monday, he said. DP Singh said that the accused are being booked under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and provisions of the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act. When asked about this incident, the state government spokesperson and home minister Narottam Mishra told reporters, “Instructions have been given to the police intelligence to monitor whether the conversion activities are going on in missionary schools of Madhya Pradesh." Meanwhile, a project has been launched in Madhya

The hill shrine in Andhra Pradesh is being falsely claimed as a sacred spot for Hindus Attack on shrine upsets Christians in southern India Christians protest against vandals attacking the statues of Mother Mary, Infant Jesus and the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Guntur Diocese in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh on May 15. (Photo supplied) Unidentified vandals destroyed statues of Mother Mary, Infant Jesus and the Sacred Heart of Jesus at a hill shrine in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh causing shock among the local Catholics. The incident happened on the intervening night of May 14 and 15. "We came to know about it through some Catholics who had been there early morning,” said Father Bala Subash Chandra Bose who is in charge of the shrine. The newly constructed shrine complex at Edlapadu in the Guntur district was being readied for an inauguration, Father Bose told UCA News on May 18. “Christians here are in a state of shock and disbelief,” the Guntur diocesan priest said. “We organized a protest march on May 15 evening to press for speedy investigations.” However, three days after no one had been arrested and the priest said a peace march had been planned on the

Man alleges forced conversion in Madikeri, Christian couple from Kerala booked Accused have been booked under IPC section 295 (A), remanded to judicial custody Police official said they have not received circular on Anti-Conversion Law On May 17, an ordinance on the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill (2021) or commonly known as Anti-Conversion Law came into effect, on the same day, a Christian couple was arrested by the Madikeri district police over allegations of forced religious conversion. Based on the complaint filed by a man, an FIR was lodged under IPC section 295 (A). The accused were produced before the court and sent to judicial custody. On Tuesday afternoon, chaos prevailed at Manchalli village of Madikeri district as members of the Bajrang Dal barged into a house belonging to a man named Paniyeravar A Mutha and questioned the motive of a Christian couple, who were inside the house. After arguments between the Christian couple and the right-wing group members, the couple was handed over to the Kutta police. Speaking on the issue, local Bajrang Dal leader Sajjan Ganapati told News9 that, he along with other members went to the spot after they received the information about forced religious

Karnataka state plans to bring in an ordinance after failing to steer an earlier bill outlawing religious conversions The Catholic Church in the southern Indian state of Karnataka has criticized the government for its attempts to keep the pot boiling on the contentious issue of religious conversions. The May 12 announcement by Law Minister J.C. Madhuswamy of the state government’s plan to usher in an emergency law to counter religious conversions and interfaith marriages by issuing an ordinance has alarmed Christians. The state's legislative assembly passed an anti-conversion bill — Karnataka Right to Freedom of Religion Bill 2021 — last December but failed to present it in the upper house or legislative council for final sanction, perhaps because the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is one seat short of a majority there. An ordinance comes into effect with the signature and seal of the state's governor but has to be ratified by the elected legislative house within six months. “The pro-Hindu BJP wants to keep alive the bogey of conversions ahead of the crucial elections,” said J.A. Kanthraj, public relations officer of Bangalore Archdiocese, while referring to the local polls to be held in a couple of months followed by provincial assembly elections next year

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